"Robin War" kicks off next week, starting a crossover event that spills into several Gotham-related titles when the current and former Robins all come into conflict with the Court of Owls — as well as each other.
As DC readers know, there are a lot of Robins running around Gotham these days. Not only are there three former Robins and the current son-of-Batman Robin, but there are kids banding together (with Alfred's help) to form the We Are Robin group.
Throw the Court of Owls into the mix and the all-new Jim Gordon Batman, and the story of "Robin War" starts spilling into multiple DC titles throughout the month of December. The story starts in Robin War #1 next week, then continues through Grayson #15, Detective Comics #47, We Are Robin #7 and Robin: Son of Batman #7, with tie-in issues in Gotham Academy #13, Red Hood/Arsenal #7 and Teen Titans #15.
Gotham veteran Ray Fawkes is assisting Patrick Gleason on the event's finale in Robin: Son of Batman, as well as writing the Detective Comics issue for "Robin War." Newsarama talked to Fawkes to find out more about the event.
Newsarama: Ray, why do you think Robin War works as a story, holding together all these characters and different titles? Why did it appeal to you?
Ray Fawkes: As soon as they started talking to me about it, I thought it was a great idea. I mean, we've got all these Robins and semi-Robins — you know, the ones who used to be Robins but are calling themselves different things — all inspired by Batman and all totally different people.
So I love the idea of having a wide-ranging story that deals with all of them and deals with the consequences of their choices.
Nrama: I find it interesting how varied they are. Do you get the chance to compare and contrast them in your issues? I assume this event explores that quite a bit, as they're in conflict with not only the Court of Owls, but with each other.
Fawkes: Absolutely it does. That's one of the interesting things. We sort of have the old guard Robins, like Tim and Jason and obviously Dick Grayson and now Damian, who I guess would be considered old guard — they're all so different from each other. They have such varied viewpoints and personalities.
And then we bring in the wave of kids from We Are Robin, who are technically new Robins. I mean, whether or not they're authentically Robins is one of the points of discussion in the book that I think is really cool.
You put them all together and you have such a range of interesting characters who are dealing with not only the problems that they've got but also with each other. I think it's awesome.
Nrama: Overall, how would you describe the story of "Robin War?"
Fawkes: On one level, what it's about is a single threat that all of the Robins have to face, meaning that they have to reconcile some of their differences.
But I think also what it's about is different people being inspired by the same sort of ideals, needing to realize that what inspires them is what inspires them is what they have in common. They have a choice to focus on their differences or focus on that inspiration.
It's a multi-layered story. What it's about really is this threat that's facing them, and they're called upon to actually be heroes.
Nrama: There's obviously a call to action against the Court of Owls, but with the relationships that exist between so many of them, I assume there's some relationship drama involved with the story?
Fawkes: Definitely. There's ton of conflict between them, tons of drama. And there are also a few cases of characters who have perhaps never met before learning that they're actually very simpatico, which I think is very cool. And a lot of drama comes out of both of those things.
Nrama: Is the event a continuing story from one issue to one issue to one issue, or does each issue focus on a different character? And if so, who's your issue focusing on?
Fawkes: The story does flow through from each issue to the next, but each issue does actually focus on different characters.
The Detective issue that I wrote is actually largely about Jim Gordon's reaction to what's happening to the Robins.
So while we see the Robins doing their things, we also get to see the perspective of Jim Gordon and the police, reacting to what these kids are up to, and deciding how they're going to participate.
Nrama: We've seen indications that some of the kids might end up in jail. I assume the reaction from the police isn't so good. From an adult perspective, it doesn't seem quite right to have children in the streets, endangering themselves.
Fawkes: Yeah, absolutely. And that's very much part of the conflict for the adults. How much can they allow the kids to be doing what they're doing? But then, the kids don't really want their help. And they don't want to be treated like children. They want to be Robins and vigilantes. So definitely, Jim Gordon's got some very conflicting views about these kids.
Nrama: You're also getting to co-write with Pat Gleason. I assume the focus of that issue will be Damian?
Fawkes: Yeah. That one's actually rather late in the story. I don't want to give anything away. So I'm just going to say it focuses quite a bit on Damian.
Nrama: What's it been like working with everyone else on these Robin-related titles?
Fawkes: It's absolutely great. Lee Bermejo, who writes We Are Robin, and Pat of course, and Tom King — these guys are all great. These guys are really professional. They've each got a very different, very distinct voice, and it's really cool working with them.
It actually reminds me a lot of when I was working on Batman Eternal last year and I was in the crew of another bunch of guys with really strong voices and really great outlooks on their characters. It's been a blast. I love it.
Nrama: You seem very comfortable in Gotham City. Will we see you doing more stuff in Gotham down the road?
Fawkes: Well, I love the Gotham City setting. I love the characters there. So if it's up to me, yeah, you definitely will. As far as what shape that takes, I don't know just yet.